Check Your Heart

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I am so happy that by now doing our reading at bedtime has become a habit for our (and I know many of yours) kids.  Yes, maybe it is a means to delaying bedtime at times, but whatever the means I like the end result.

Our Thursday reading is especially relatable, we spend a LOT of time talking about making decisions.

May 20: Mark 6:30-44

Today’s Takeaways:

  • By now, there were so many people following Jesus that the disciples didn’t even have time to eat.
  • No matter how many people call out to Jesus, he has compassion on all of them and gives them what they need.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Verse 34 says Jesus had compassion on the crowds “because they were like sheep without a shepherd” and so he taught them. We usually focus on the miraculous feeding, but that was an afterthought; Jesus’ first act of compassion was to teach. Why do you think that is and what does it tell us?

May 21: Mark 6:45-56

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Jesus regularly spends time by himself in prayer; even here, where the crowd was so big, he found time to be alone with God.
  • We also read this story in Matthew, but Mark adds the curious fact that Jesus intended to pass by the apostles, not to stop.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Verses 51-52 say the apostles were amazed because they didn’t yet understand what Jesus showed them when he fed the 5,000. What worries you most? When you think of all of Jesus miracles, is there any reason to think he can’t help you with your problem?

May 22: Mark 7:1-13

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Jesus is more concerned with what is in your heart than with what you do.
  • If you follow a religious rule, make sure you understand the reason God put the rule in place. God doesn’t make a rule for rule’s sake.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • When the Pharisees talked down to Jesus for not following religious customs, do you think they did that because they were concerned about what God wanted? Why/why not?

May 23: Mark 7:14-23

Today’s Takeaways:

  • We need to be less concerned with what is outside of us and more concerned with what is in our hearts, because sin and bad decisions come from inside of us.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • What kind of bad decisions have you made recently? Did that hurt anyone’s feelings? You should apologize to them and ask God to help you to have a clean heart so you can stop doing those things.

May 24: Mark 7:24-37

Today’s Takeaways:

  • In Jesus’ time the Jews believed that only they were children of God and that no one else could receive God’s blessing. The woman wasn’t Jewish, but she compared herself to a dog under the table catching the blessings that the children dropped. Jesus saw the woman’s faith and blessed her, even though she wasn’t a Jew.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • When Jesus heals the deaf man, he takes him away from the crowd and orders anyone who saw the healing to tell no one. Why do you think Jesus told some people not to tell anyone he was the Messiah?

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